Denver Post on Lookout for 'Hard to Extreme Right' Republicans

George Will is fond of saying that American politics is played between the 40-yard-lines. Well, according to the Denver Post, Republicans are somewhere in the shadows of their own goalposts:

As the deadlines to get on the ballot near, all but one of eight Republicans vying to replace Joel Hefley in Colorado's 5th Congressional District are running hard to the extreme right - touting views against abortion, gay marriage and stem-cell research.

Never mind that support for Roe in its current form is now the minority position. Never mind that gay marriage runs behind even Walter Mondale at the polls. And never mind that the stem cell debate is, at this point, about federal funding rather than the research itself. These positions are "extreme."

*Sigh.* I'm still waiting for them to characterize NARAL or GLAAD as, "extreme."

Ms. Emery also includes this whopper:

Only one candidate, Anderson, a former El Paso County sheriff, is trying to appeal to a more moderate voter.

Anyone who's ever read anything about Colorado Springs Mayor Lionel Rivera knows he's centrist at best on social issues.

Now, watch carefully:

Candidates' stances on social issues will be extremely important at the district-assembly level, said Bob Loevy, a political science professor at Colorado College. That's because delegates are some of the most active people in the party, and they tend to be social conservatives.

"In the Republican primary electorate, the social conservatives are not a majority, but they are the largest and most active group," Loevy said.

It's a group whose stances on the "push-button" issues are not a surprise.

"It's well-known what kind of issues motivate a significant set of voters within the Republican electorate," Loevy said. "It makes it very easy to know what to say."

Of course Colorado Springs Republicans are more likely to be social conservatives. But that doesn't necessarily apply to the rest of the party, a distinction that neither Emery nor Loevy makes. Rudy Giuliani keeps getting large shares of straw polls and online votes, and isn't the media darling, John McCain, a "maverick?" (McCain has virtually no chance at the nomination. Not because of his social views, but becuase people don't like being told to shut up.)

So, Republicans who are socially conservative are by definition "extreme," and that means most of the party's activists. So, do you really want to vote for the "extreme" Republican nominee in '08, or even for Governor in '06, for that matter?